Nationalities differ depending on whether you're a man or a woman (adjectives)

Here's how to ask people their nationality:

(informal)

Quelle est ta nationalité ?
What is your nationality?

(formal)

Quelle est votre nationalité ?
What is your nationality?

Look at these examples:

JULIEN:

Je suis français.
I am French.

MARIE:

Je suis française.
I am French.

Note that the word for the nationality changes whether the person is masculine (français) or feminine (française).

Note also that nationalities used as adjectives (as opposed to nouns, see * below) never start with a capital letter in French, unlike English.

Usually, they take an -e in the feminine form.

Je suis anglais.
I am English.

Je suis anglaise.
I am English.

 

Nationalities in -ian in English often become -ien in French:

Je suis italien.
I am Italian.

Je suis canadien.
I am Canadian.(male)

Je suis indien.
I'm Indian. (male)

Je suis australien.
I'm Australian.

For these nationalities ending in -ien, the feminine will be -ienne.

Je suis italienne.
I am Italian.

Je suis canadienne.
I am Canadian.

Je suis indienne.
I'm Indian.

Je suis australienne.
I'm Australian.

See also Forming the feminine of nouns and adjectives ending in -ien, -ion, -on

 

* Nationalities: adjectives versus nouns 

Nationalities used as adjectives are NOT capitalised, whereas they are capitalised when used as nouns:

Ma petite amie est canadienne.
My girlfriend is Canadian.

Je connais un Canadien qui vit de l'autre côté de la rue.
I know a Canadian who lives across the street.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Quelle est votre nationalité ?
What is your nationality?


Je suis canadienne.
I am Canadian.


Je suis italienne.
I am Italian.


Quelle est ta nationalité ?
What is your nationality?


Je suis française.
I am French.


Je suis anglaise.
I am English.


Je suis indien.
I'm Indian. (male)


Je suis australienne.
I'm Australian.


Je suis australien.
I'm Australian.


Je suis canadien.
I am Canadian.(male)


Je suis italien.
I am Italian.


Je suis anglais.
I am English.


Je suis indienne.
I'm Indian.



Je suis français.
I am French.


Q&A Forum 19 questions, 28 answers

Dr MichaelC1Kwiziq community member

Nationalités - majuscules ou pas; citoyenneté ou adjectif décrivant le pays d’où on vient? Il faut être plus claire ici. Merci!

Salut tout le monde,

Toutes ces questions concernant les nationalités sont ambiguës.  Une femme peut dire toue les deux:

Je suis française ou Je suis Française. Ça dépend du contexte. Française est un nom et sa nationalité.  « française » est un adjectif et elle décrit qu’elle est de la

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dr. Michael, 

Strictly speaking, the noun will take a capital letter and the adjective a lower case letter.

So I would say -

Je suis française mais j'habite Londres = I am French but I leave in London

or 

Je suis une Française (qui habite) en Angleterre I am a French woman, living in England

Without wanting to split hairs and confuse other learners, take a  look at the following sentences -

Un savant français Un savant de nationalité française ( A French scholar)

Un savant Français = Un Français qui sait beaucoup de choses  ( A knowledgable French person)

which illustrates the point more clearly I think.

Hope this helps!

Dr MichaelC1Kwiziq community member

Il faut clarifier les deux formes, nom ou adjectif?  Je suis anglais (adjectif) ou je suis Anglais (nom). 

Nationalités - majuscules ou pas; citoyenneté ou adjectif décrivant le pays d’où on vient? Il faut être plus claire ici. Merci!

Salut tout le monde,

Toutes ces questions concernant les nationalités sont ambiguës.  Une femme peut dire toue les deux:

Je suis française ou Je suis Française. Ça dépend du contexte. Française est un nom et sa nationalité.  « française » est un adjectif et elle décrit qu’elle est de la

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IanA1Kwiziq community member

So it's, Adrien est français, mais Sophie est française. Est-ce correct ?

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Tout à fait, Ian!

Bonne continuation!

IanA1Kwiziq community member

Merci !

So it's, Adrien est français, mais Sophie est française. Est-ce correct ?

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JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"C'est un Anglais". Is it correct to use capital 'a' in this sentence?

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Joan,

‘ C’est un Anglais’ means, ‘He is an English man‘ (person from that country) which has a capital letter.

If you said ‘Il est anglais’,  it wouldn’t as it would be the adjective ‘English’ , which in French doesn’t have a capital letter.

A bit confusing I know...

Hope this helps!

JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci beaucoup

"C'est un Anglais". Is it correct to use capital 'a' in this sentence?

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HalouiA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

It is correct?

Je suis algerienne

Asked 9 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Je suis algérienne is correct (as long as you come from Algeria, that is;)

It is correct?

Je suis algerienne

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OluA1Kwiziq community member

I just saw the word "vit" used for "lives" in one of the examples sighted above. What is the difference between "vit" and "habite"?

Asked 1 year ago
SteveB2 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Olu,

Here's a good explanation:

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/habiter-vs-vivre/.

I just saw the word "vit" used for "lives" in one of the examples sighted above. What is the difference between "vit" and "habite"?

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JLA1Kwiziq community member

Pourquoi dans français les noms des payés n’est pas capitale

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi JL ,

This lesson is about nationalities, how to say where you come from , these don't have capital letters in French but countries do -

Je suis française , mon pays est la France.

Je suis espagnole, mon pays est l'Espagne

etc...

Hope this helps!

Pourquoi dans français les noms des payés n’est pas capitale

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PatrickA1Kwiziq community member

I could not tell the gender of alexa

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
And what's your question?
PatrickA1Kwiziq community member
If i cannot tell if Alexa is male or female I can't determine if I need to use masculine or femine articles.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Alexa is a female name. It is the female form of Alexander and short for Alexandra. You can google this.

And if you don't know the case then you have to take a guess. What else is there to do?

I could not tell the gender of alexa

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ARUMUGAMA1Kwiziq community member

ton ou ta

Quelle est ton nationalite ou quelle est ta nationalite?

ton pour M et ta pour F. c'est correct

 

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

No, that would not be correct. The noun "la nationalité" is female. Therefore any pronoun referring to it must be female as well.

Pierre, quelle est ta nationalité?

Marie, quelle est ta nationalité?

ARUMUGAMA1Kwiziq community member
Merci

ton ou ta

Quelle est ton nationalite ou quelle est ta nationalite?

ton pour M et ta pour F. c'est correct

 

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Julie B1Kwiziq community member

All of your examples are in the singular. How do you pluralize nationalities?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Anne est française.

Anne et Marie sont françaises.

Jean est hongrois.

Jean et Jacques sont hongrois.

So you see, the "national" adjectives behave just like normal adjectives. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

All of your examples are in the singular. How do you pluralize nationalities?

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AmyA0Kwiziq community member

Does "dit" mean says?

Asked 2 years ago
YellamarajuC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Yes. 3rd. person conjugated form of "dire" (to say) in present tense

Does "dit" mean says?

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JMB2Kwiziq community member

La liaison?

The audio clips don't have a clear pattern when it comes to making a liaison between "suis" and the nationalities beginning with a vowel. It this an optional liaison? What would you recommend?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour JM ! In this case, it's generally considered more elegant to do the liaison, but a lot of French people don't and it's not shocking not to do so. I would recommend to do it, if only because it makes it easier to pronounce certain cases for non-French people, such as "Je suis italien" (the double i-i might be tricky!). À bientôt !

La liaison?

The audio clips don't have a clear pattern when it comes to making a liaison between "suis" and the nationalities beginning with a vowel. It this an optional liaison? What would you recommend?

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AurélieKwiziq team member

A. asked: Can nationalities be capitalised in French or do they take lower cases?

How to use nationalities as 'proper nouns' and as an 'adjectives'.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour A.,

That's a very interesting question! 
Yes, nationalities CAN be capitalised in French, when they are used as "proper nouns" rather than "adjectives".

For example, when you qualifying something as "French" (food, person, city...), then you're using the adjective, therefore it starts with a lower case:
Le vin français est bon.
Marie est française.

But when you're talking about a Frenchman, or the Frenchwoman (or an Englishman, ...), then you're using a noun (introduced by a/the/this...), and it starts with a capital letter:
Je connais un Français. (Frenchman)    versus     Je connais un homme français. (French man)
Les Anglais sont très polis.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

 

 

A. asked: Can nationalities be capitalised in French or do they take lower cases?

How to use nationalities as 'proper nouns' and as an 'adjectives'.

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Hilary A1Kwiziq community member

je suis nigerian{ne}

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Hilary ! A man would be "nigérian", and a woman "nigériane" with one "n". À bientôt !

je suis nigerian{ne}

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AdvikaA1Kwiziq community member

Je suis indienne.

Est ce - que je suis correct
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Oui, tu es correcte Advika: Bravo ! Moi je suis française :) À bientôt !

Je suis indienne.

Est ce - que je suis correct

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JoseA0Kwiziq community member

Je suis américain.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jose - Très bien ! Je suis américaine aussi.

Je suis américain.

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Jo-AnneA1Kwiziq community member

Je suis canadienne.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Ca!

The rules differ between English and French (of course they do lol!):

- in English: nationalities all take capital letters, either used as adjectives (This is an English rug) or as nouns (There are two Frenchmen here).

- in French: you won't use a capital letter when using nationalities as adjectives (C'est un tapis anglais), but you will when used as nouns (Il y a deux Français ici).

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

 

 

 

AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jo-Anne ! Moi je suis française mais j'habite en Angleterre. Et toi, où habites-tu ?
CaA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
May I ask, is nationality and some noun need to use Capital Letter and what about in French? Is nationality and name of some places not a need here? 
CaA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I mean in English. 

Je suis canadienne.

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MeganA0Kwiziq community member

Je suis anglaise.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Megan ! Tu es anglaise ? Super ! Et où habites-tu en Angleterre ?

Je suis anglaise.

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JoonAhA0Kwiziq community member

Where can I find more nationalities written in french apart from those mentioned in this lesson?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour JoonAh, This is a pretty good list: http://frenchetc.org/2011/05/09/countriesnationalitiesandadjectives/

Where can I find more nationalities written in french apart from those mentioned in this lesson?

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JeffA0Kwiziq community member

How do I say Je Suisse Welsh ?

I am Welsh and come from Wales
Asked 4 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jeff, I'm Welsh = Je suis gallois.

How do I say Je Suisse Welsh ?

I am Welsh and come from Wales

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